Whatta total American...
Should be on your must do list, deffinitly visit ALCATRAZ.
From Pier 39 you can take a ferry to Alcatraz, also nice for taking good photo of Golden gate bridge.
on your way back dont forget to visit fishermans warf and have some nice sea food.
If U R planning to visit Alcatraz make sure U call at least 2 weeks in advance, Old Faithful Geyser a rumbling eruption of hissing steam & seismographic mystery, one of the most photographed places in California, If you’re interested in Nature, the petrified forest here you'll find petrified wood rich in deposits of minerals, crystal, wood opal, obsidian, silica and more. Since 1871 this forest has attracted scientists, students & tourists like me from all over the world. If you're into wine, Napa Valley is surrounded by vineyards and wineries that offer tours and tastings. Into cooking visit the "Culinary Institute of America", the food in general is a little salty, but no one can beat their desserts!!! Castello dell’amorosa, a Genovese creating an authentic castle. Visiting California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento State History Park which is the most popular rail road museum in the country. We also went to the Military Museum and met an 87 year old retired WWII Veteran.
I went out to San Francisco because I really wanted to see Alcatraz. Well, I paid about $35 to see it through a tour company and I feel it was a rip off. I was only there for about 3 days and it screwed up a whole day because they only scheduled us for right in the middle of the day. Then they had us show up to get our Alcatraz tickets around 15 minutes before the boat took off, and then our whole group had to RUN without a guide to try to find where we were supposed to be before the last boat of the day went out to Alcatraz. Alcatraz itself wasn't impressive to me either partly because the audio went so slowly, there were too many people, and it wasn't nearly as large as I thought it would be and the buildings are falling apart. I had to rush through so the last boat of the day wouldn't leave without me to go back to San Francisco. I would NOT recommend paying $35 to go out here!!!
Tourists buy tickets weeks in advance to visit this tiny island located off Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco. Alcatraz, a.k.a. "The Rock" was made legend by movies. But even if the pop culture angle doesn't appeal to you, as it doesn't appeal to me, Alcatraz is worth a visit for historical reasons. The island has an interesting history and the well preserved prison, while chilling, tells the tale of the years of isolation indured by some of America's Most Wanted. How bad was it? Numerous inmates jumped in the freezing water to their deaths just to escape.
For more information, feel free to browse my Alcatraz page.
Of course visiting SF without going to Alcatraz would be unthinkable. You do need to book in advance though and I booked our tickets via the internet a few months before we went on holiday: www.blueandgoldfleet.com
The island was named by Juan Manual de Ayala in 1775. He charted the bay and called the tiny island La Isla de los Alcatraces or " Island of Pelicans". It was and is a little barren island surrounded by swift water currents.
Alcatraz was a Federal Prison from 1934 to 1963. Today it is a National Park and there is a very interesting audio tour of the old prison. Its most famous inmates of course were Al Capone and the Birdman of Alcatraz.
http://www.alcatrazhistory.com/ gives a very good history of the island so I will not write it all out here.
Remember though the walk to the Cellhouse house is steep so take water with you it can be thristy work out there. There ia transport of disabled though.
The ferry trip out gives great views of Golden Gate and the Island.
San Francisco. What an interesting city! Fantastic bay known as one among the finest in the world, this area can be enjoyed through the 49 Mile Scenic Route. Don't miss the famous Wharf and the city's ups-and-downs aboard a cable-car. Self-guided tours encouraged.
Take the ferry to Alcatraz Island just off SF shore for a breathtaking city view. The island used to be a penitentiary, dismissed after fugitives found their way to freedom. The island was later seized by a native community of protesters. Today it's a protected area under the supervision of NPS and visits are welcome.
Alcatraz Island is the home of one of the most notorious prisons in America. From the 1930s to the early 1960s, it was here that many of the most infamous criminal were sent from other correctional institutions. People like Al Capone, Alvin karpis and Doc Barker all served time here. Today, closed for more then 40 years now, it is administered by the National Park Service. You can take either guided or self-guided tours of different parts of the Rock. Access is by ferry from San Francisco Harbor.
Out in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, the island of Alcatraz is a world unto itself. Isolation, one of the constants of island life for any inhabitant - soldier, guard, prisoner, bird or plant - is a recurrent theme in the unfolding history of Alcatraz.
Alcatraz Island is one of Golden Gate National Recreation Area's most popular destinations, offering a close-up look at a historic and infamous federal prison long off-limits to the public. Visitors to the island can not only explore the remnants of the prison, but learn about the Native American occupation of 1969 - 1971, early military fortifications and the West Coast's first (and oldest operating) lighthouse. These structures and the island's many natural features - gardens, tide pools, bird colonies, and bay views beyond compare, are being preserved by the National Park Service which is working to make it accessible to visitors, preserve its buildings, protect its birds and other wildlife, and interpret its history.
Alcatraz was named by Spanish Explorer Manuel de Ayala - Isla de los Alcatraces, Island of the Pelicans. This barren rock in the middle of the San Francisco Bay has been used as a Civil War fortification, a Federal prison, and a symbol of the plight of the Native American. Now, it is run by the National Park Service. Its is most famous as a prison, and your visit will focus on that period of the island's history. The only way to get to Alcatraz is by taking a Blue & Gold Fleet ferry.
Lying out in the middle of San Francisco Bay, the island of Alcatraz was once a world of isolation for soldiers, guards and prisoners. The Island is one of Golden Gate National Recreation Area's most popular destinations, offering a close-up look at a historic and infamous federal prison which has long been off limits to the public. Visitors to the island can not only explore the remnants of the prison, but learn about the Native American occupation of 1969 - 1971, early military fortifications and the West Coast's first (and oldest operating) lighthouse.
Alcatraz - This very famous prison, opened in 1933 until its closure in 1963. It was supposed to be 'escape proof'. Some of its infamous occupants were Al Capone and the 'birdman of Alcatraz'.
It is 1.1/2 miles from the shore and there are tours to the island in which you can visit the prison and see inside.
This photo was taken while on the boat tour. As we were not able to get on a tour of the actual prison itself.
Booking in advance is very important.
Red and White Ferries do tours of the island/prison.
Alcatraz - The Rock, right off San Francisco.
This former prison held famous prisoners, such as Al Capone, who stayed here for fraude. It's an interesting place to see. You can take an audio tour, which is pretty fun. For example you walk into the dining room and it sounds as if there's a bunch of blokes eating... It's also fun to go see Alcatraz and then rent the movie 'Escape from Alcatraz' or 'The Rock'! You also get a nice view of San Francisco. I've added a photo of one of the cells!
The boat ride to the island is a brief 15 minutes but affords beautiful views of the city, Marin County, and the East Bay. The audio tour, highly recommended, includes the observations of guards and prisoners about life in one of America's most notorious penal colonies. Plan your schedule to allow at least three hours for the visit and boat rides combined. Reservations, even in the off-season, are recommended.
The whole place needs some upkeep instead of the stance they are taking to let it be "as is". The monument is eroding, but the tour is still worth the visit.
When in San Francisco, you may want to check up the old prison island of Alcatraz. I took this picture in April 1982 while there, though we didn't actually get any closer.